Chocolate Zucchini Bread, Gluten Free & Dairy Free


This chocolate zucchini bread is so good & moist.  It's best the day you make or the day after. The original recipe I found is from the blog, Simply Recipes. I modified to be gluten/dairy free, (there were coffee grounds in the other I wouldn't have liked). 

This makes 2 loaves.

I line loaf pan with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 


4 cups grated zucchini (about 4 small or 2 large zucchinis)
2 1/2 cups gluten free flour blend, such as Bob's Red mill
1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/2 cups granulated Organic white sugar
2 Organic eggs
1/4 cup melted Organic Earth Balance
1/2 cup Organic applesauce
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Grate zucchini, with a small hole grater so the pieces are small/fine, keep in a separate bowl.

Whisk together: flour, unsweetened cocoa, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl until well combined. 

With an electric mixer, mix sugar & eggs well.  Gradually add shredded zucchini, use a wooden spoon to mix well. Next add applesauce and melted earth balance. Then add flour mixture. Mix well.

For more chocolate you can add Enjoy chocolate chips.

Spoon mixture into the 2 loaf pans equally.

Or 1 loaf pan and a dozen muffins.

Place in the center of oven & bake for 50 minutes for loaf pan, 20 minutes muffins or 30 minutes 8x8 pan, (until toothpick comes out clean).

Let cool for about 20 min before removing from pan.

This one's very dark because I used Hershey's Special Dark cocoa.

Paper Towel Craft/Art

I recently saw a wreath made out of cut paper towel roll pieces so I thought how easy is this and no cost, the kids would love this. So I was thinking what kind of sculptures could we make? I saved a bunch of rolls and we played around with them-

I like the white foam core behind them. If you glue them together with no background it's hard to see, unless you have a contrasting wall color behind.

First I measured 1 inch increments, then creased  the whole roll before cutting with scissors.

My daughter used elmer's glue to attach her pieces and let it sit over night. She used paper clips in some areas to keep it together. A close pin would also work. I tried a hot glue gun which holds well and much faster drying time.

The next day, I spray painted my daughter's snowflake white and she sprinkled purple glitter on it.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins Kids Favorite

I've made many variations of banana chocolate chip muffins, this one is the easiest and the kids love them!
This makes about 24 muffins (a dozen isn't enough)

Preheat oven to 350. Spray muffin tin or line with cupcake liners.

6-8 ripe bananas
1 cup of palm sugar
2/3 cup coconut oil
2 eggs
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups of flour (I use Arthurs white whole wheat flour) Or you can use 1/2 whole wheat, 1/2 white
1 cup of mini chocolate chips

Healthy optional add ins: about 1/4 cup ground flax, chia seeds or walnuts

Mash bananas, then add sugar, oil & eggs. Mix well.
In a separate bowl wisk together baking soda, baking powder, salt and flour.
Add to banana mixture. Mix well, then add chocolate chips.
Using an ice cream scooper (if you have 1 that has the slide out lever) scoop in each sprayed muffin tin.  Bake about 20 min. Insert toothpick to make sure they're done.

Making an Ottoman out of a Storage Bin

I bought these 2 storage bins on clearance for $5 each a few years ago. They are very strong & sturdy and I had every intention of painting them and reusing them for storage. But I'm glad I waited because I was recently looking for ottomans/extra seating for the kids & their friends and I remembered I had these!
After a light sanding I primed and painted, 3 coats of Benjamin Moore French Beret. Then finished it with with 3 coats of Minwax Water Based, Polycrylic Clear Satin.
We had extra plywood in the basement, so my husband cut them the same size of each top for the seat.
I purchased 2 1/2 inch thick foam for each at the craft store. I learned that using an electric knife (same for carving a turkey) is the best way to cut the foam.

I wrapped the foam and plywood together with batting, attached with staple gun. Then I cut the fabric leaving 6 inches around each side, and also attached with my staple gun.  I choose a heavy upholstery fabric for extra durability, I highly recommend upholstery fabric.

After you get the 4 sides tightly on, trim the corners to avoid it bulging. Fold the corners neatly and staple pulling the fabric to get it tight. After the fabric is on I then applied Gorilla Glue around the top of the storage bin, then placed the seat on top.  With a nail gun, I nailed a 1" nail, 18 GA. (with no head) along the side, at an angle from the fabric into the plywood then into the bin. The nail goes through the fabric and I swear you cant even see it, the hole left is so small I cant find it.  

I could have used these seats for storage by attaching the top with hinges but from experience these would just get filled with junk never to be seen again. So I opted from seats/ottomans with no storage.

All done and getting plenty of use.